Our Memories6 min read
Memories involve a looking back so we know the Lord’s will as we look forward, and the saying goes: “Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it.” In our Christian lives, it is essential that we move forward carefully, taking heed to the warnings of Scripture. Several times we see phrases in God’s Words telling us to remember, and we would do well to take lessons from them.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 “REMEMBER now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…”
Solomon was a man who knew what it means to indulge in the world, and in Ecclesiastes he records what it meant to him: “Vanity of vanities: all is vanity!” And at the end of his record, he would exhort his young readers to remember their Creator, especially in youth. Young people today are taught that belief in God is illogical and unnecessary, that is it purely religious superstition. They are taught to live like the world and yet will find it all to be vanity – a waste. And they will die, surely with their vanity, but yet without Christ. O that they may live for God while there is still time! Truly this is a most important memory; truly it is vital to remember the Most High. Whether a believer or not, God would have us take Himself seriously. Let there be no more indulging upon “youthful lusts,” but let there be passionate zeal for the things of God. Let us remember our Creator; regardless of age, when responsible, we are all accountable.
2 Timothy 2:8 “REMEMBER that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:”
But now we are called upon to remember the death and resurrection of Christ. In context, this plea comes from the apostle Paul in his desire for Timothy to consider and understand vital teachings. And truly the work of Christ and His Person is the center of all doctrine. Do we ponder the majesty of His person? Do we meditate upon His mighty works? Do we stand awe-stricken at the foot of the cross and the empty tomb as it were? We must remember these things! The truths we stand upon for salvation are and always will be truths we stand upon now. So let us not only remember our Creator now in the days of our youth, but let us remember what our Creator has accomplished for us!
Deuteronomy 6:12 “And thou shalt REMEMBER that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.”
And as we meditate upon what we have in Christ and Who He is, let us not forget who we were. Our text records the Lord’s telling Israel to remember who they once were – slaves. Why? Because when a people forget the bondage they were in, they may tend towards that bondage again. Such were Israel’s tendencies – hence this exhortation. Likewise, when tempted with sin, we must remember: we are no longer under sin, but in Christ! He is now our Lord, though once we rejected that authority in sin and wicked rebellion. But His grace abounded in our lives. And truly our service and devotion can only grow when we marvel at that grace which much more abounds where sin once did the same. O may we not cling to this world that once held us captive to sin! Instead, may we remember what we were and live what we are in Him. How precious are these thoughts.
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will REMEMBER the name of the LORD our God.”
But just how do we remember His grace and what we are in Christ? We remember the name of the Lord our God. And in fact, “remember” can be translated “boast” or even “trust in.” What is in a name? Character. Authority. And what is the name we remember? Our great eternal I AM, the Mighty One. Truly, He is the One to boast of our trust in. Truly it is Christ and all His glories in which we ourselves glory. Some would chose vain religion to cover iniquity. Some would chose works. Some would boast in their own glories. But we trust in the name of the Lord and Him alone! Is there any other to trust? Is there any other to remember as our blessed Lord Jesus Christ? By no means.
Luke 17:32 “REMEMBER Lot’s wife.”
Then we see this more practical warning of remembering Lot’s wife and her mistake. What exactly was her sin? And what were the consequences? She looked back to the city of sin (Sodom – a picture of the world); thus God turned her to salt. She died. Did our Lord not say “Now man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”? We can look to a man named Moses too, and with Moses we see “when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt (a picture of the world also), not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Moses fully turned his back; he didn’t look behind again. O may we learn to remember Lot’s wife and as Moses instead esteem reproach for Christ greater riches than the treasures of this world!
Revelation 2:5 “REMEMBER from whence you have fallen”
But if we fail to remember Lot’s wife, if we lust after the world, truly we must remember from when we have fallen. The church to which this was written had lost sight of its first love – the Lord Jesus. Truly, when we fall prey to the sins of the world, we have lost sight of Christ! When we lose zeal for God’s house and worship for His sake, we have lost sight of Christ! We must remember from whence we’ve fallen. We must remember. Let us again muse upon the preciousness of His blood as we repent from losing the love we had at first for our precious Christ. When we remember “from whence we’ve fallen,” we will realize it is far better than “where we’ve fallen to.”
Luke 16:25 “Son, REMEMBER…”
As a final exhortation to our souls, let us consider briefly the rich man of Luke 16. He had lifted his eyes in torment of flame, desiring mercy in the materialistic form of water. To this Abraham replied, “Son, remember…” Now for thousands of years, that rich man has be haunted with memories of how those riches kept him from riches toward God. He has been tormented with memories of lost opportunity, as has/will every soul in those fearful flames of the wrath of the living God. Imagine – while we remember the many blessings we have in Christ, the mercy of God, lost sinners perish. Serious are these matters indeed. May we have compassion upon these souls and spread the gospel while there is still time! And if any reader is without Christ, lest your memories be those of God’s wrath and missed opportunity, remember that Christ died for your sin and rose again. “As though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God!”